Last Spring, Business Insider shared the application essay from young Brittany Stinson which got her admitted to Yale, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Cornell, and Stanford.
Prompt 1: Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
Managing to break free from my motherâ€™s grasp, I charged. With arms flailing and chubby legs fluttering beneath me, I was the ferocious twoÂ year old rampaging through Costco on a Saturday morning. My motherâ€™s eyes widened in horror as I jettisoned my churro; the cinnamonÂsugar rocket gracefully sliced its way through the air while I continued my spree. I sprinted through the aisles, looking up in awe at the massive bulk products that towered over me. Overcome with wonder, I wanted to touch and taste, to stick my head into industrialÂsized freezers, to explore every crevice. I was a conquistador, but rather than searching the land for El Dorado, I scoured aisles for free samples. Before inevitably being whisked away into a shopping cart, I scaled a mountain of plush toys and surveyed the expanse that lay before me: the kingdom of Costco.
Notorious for its oversized portions and dollarÂfifty hot dog combo, Costco is the apex of consumerism. From the days spent being toted around in a shopping cart to when I was finally tall enough to reach lofty sample trays, Costco has endured a steady presence throughout my life. As a veteran Costco shopper, I navigate the aisles of foodstuffs, thrusting the majority of my weight upon a generously filled shopping cart whose enormity juxtaposes my small frame. Over time, Iâ€™ve developed a habit of observing fellow patrons tote their carts piled with frozen burritos, cheese puffs, tubs of ice cream, and weightÂloss supplements. Perusing the aisles gave me time to ponder. Who needs three pounds of sour cream? Was cultured yogurt any more wellÂmannered than its uncultured counterpart? Costco gave birth to my unfettered curiosity.
It’s easy to see why it worked. Her essay is glib, facile, flashy, and self-confident, hot stuff for a high school senior. Yes, it’s kind of weak on substance, but glib, facile, and flashy is what our elite schools are all about.
She decided to go to Stanford.
Hat tip to Matt MacLean.